Mount Rainier National Park
Mount Rainier National Park encompasses 235,625 acres on the west-side of the Cascade Range, and is located about 100 kilometers (50 miles) southeast of the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area. Mount Rainier National Park is approximately 97 percent wilderness and 3 percent National Historic Landmark District and receives approximately 2 million visitors per year.
At 14,410 feet, Mount Rainier is the most prominent peak in the Cascade Range. It dominates the landscape of a large part of western Washington State. The mountain stands nearly three miles higher than the lowlands to the west and one and one-half miles higher than the adjacent mountains. It is an active volcano that last erupted approximately 150 years ago., increased temperatures may alter the natural ecosystems present, and change both the habitats available for species and resources available for park visitor recreation. At Mount Rainier National Park, increased temperatures and changing precipitation patterns will likely alter the natural ecosystems, and change both the habitats available for species and resources available for visitors to enjoy the park.
In 2006, Mount Rainier National Park’s GHG emissions totaled 12,710 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E). This total includes emissions calculated from Park Operations, Visitors, and Concessioner operations.The largest emission sector for Mount Rainier National Park is Transportation - totaling 9,238 MTCO2E. The majority of these emissions result from visitor vehicle travel within park boundaries.
The graph below, taken from our Action Plan, shows our park baseline greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2006 broken down into sectors (MTCO2E) including park operations, concession operations and park visitor’s contributions:
The following goals were established and included in our Action Plan:
- Reduce GHG emissions from Park Operations to 30% below 2006 levels by the year 2016 by implementing emission mitigation actions identified by the park.
- Preserve to the highest degree possible the Park’s natural and cultural resources and infrastructure from the impacts of climate change.
Example Mount Rainier National Park Planned Actions
- Conduct a comprehensive inventory of lighting in all Park public buildings to create a baseline which will be used to document replacement of all non-energy efficient fixtures.
- Increase use of solar energy
- Install solar system at Ohanapecosh.
- Install solar panels on Emergency Operation Center at Longmire, Greenhouse at Tahoma Woods, and continue exploring solar options for other facilities throughout the park.
- Utilize shuttles to achieve a 15% reduction in the number of visitor vehicles parked at Paradise and Sunrise during peak visitor use days.
- Have an annual energy-efficiency day that encourages park staff to identify inefficiencies in their workplace and report to Green Team for prioritization and mitigation.
- Address current flooding and infrastructure issues by developing a road and trail management plan for flooding and sediment transport.
To read more about what Mount Rainier National Park is doing about Climate Change with Climate Friendly Parks, check out the Action Plan.